Hillsboro Methodist

Jasper County
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Org 1808
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Photography by Tony Cantrell

CLICK HERE FOR AN INTERIOR TOUR OF HILLSBORO METHODIST CHURCH 

In the early 1800s, a farmer of moderate means and limited education made his way from North Carolina to Jasper County, Georgia. He believed in religion, temperance, and education for his sons and dedicated his life to these principles. In addition to farming, he built near his homeplace a church where he was steward and class leader. He built a school where he was a trustee. Then he built a temperance society of which he was president.

The little community that would emerge owed much of its existence to Mr. Hill so it became known as Hillsboro as it is still called today.

In those early days, Georgia experienced an influx of new settlers as Natives were forced out. Back then, a community like Hillsboro would’ve had to have been somewhat self-reliant as trains and steamboats weren’t accessible until the 1830s. Roads didn’t come through Hillsboro until the 1880s.

But despite its lack of reliable transportation routes, circuit-riding preachers had been serving this area since the late 1700s. And John Hill’s son, William Pinkney Hill, would continue this tradition as he entered the Methodist ministry serving this area, known as the Cedar Creek Circuit. 

According to church records, the church his father John helped found in 1808 likely started meeting under brush arbor, until 1818 when the first deed for a building was issued. The next structure was built in 1852 on the former site of a Baptist Church but it was eventually moved. The records don’t state the reason, but in 1877, they called for a new structure to be built in by 1884, the third church house had been finished on land donated by Mrs. Frances McCullogh. By 1912, they had also outgrown that building too and, led by the efforts of the Women’s Methodist Society and Mrs. J.T. Garland, bought new land to expand and add Sunday School Rooms.

But the following years would bring war and depression and what was once a bustling little town became a quiet place as young people left to find work elsewhere. As the elderly members passed on, this once vibrant congregation dwindled to only 20 members by the 1960s. The church sat out of use for some time but we are happy to report that a congregation meets here again to carry on the tradition of John Hill and the early settlers to this part of Georgia. 

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